James had been a jack of all trades before he descended upon the barbering job route. From a young age, he was always amazed at how barbers could make someone look so different within a short period of time! So it was no surprise when he discovered opportunities to become a barber from scratch with our beginner courses at London School of Barbering, that he signed up for a course with us.
After returning to Malta, once he finished his courses at LSB, he built up experience working in a friends barbershop which gave him a great foundation of what it’s like to work in a fast paced barbershop. He is now enjoying doing his own thing in his own barbershop known as 8 Steps Barber Shop alongside the Guy Lee Tattoo studio.
Read more about his success story in his interview below……
LSB: What is your name and Instagram tag if you have one?
JN: My name is James Norris and you can find me on Instagram via @jamesthebarber81.
JN: I had been quite a jack of all trades before I started barbering but my last job was a Sales Agent for Harley Davidson and KTM Motorcycles here in Malta.
LSB: When did you realise barbering was the profession for you?
JN: From a young age, I was always amazed out how barbers could make someone look so different within a short period of time but never pursued it until I found the opportunity with LSB.
LSB: How did you feel about making the transition into barbering, and why did you choose LSB to learn the trade?
JN: As I’m sure nearly everybody can relate to when looking into starting a new career, it was nerve wracking to start off with but once getting stuck in, things just seemed to fit into place and all those nerves faded away.
LSB: What course did you take at London School of Barbering, and what were the highlights of for you?
JN: I initially took the NVQ Level 2 course and had such a good time that I went back to get my Master barbers (Level 3). The whole experience was a highlight for me but if I have to pinpoint some, I would say getting to see people such as Henry, George and Jordan, do what they do best during the demo cuts. As well as learning a new profession and making bonds and friendships that I’m sure will last for life.
LSB: Tell us about your journey since you have finished with LSB?
JN: English born and bred but having lived in Malta for the past 12 years, my first step was to fly back to Malta. Initially I had been told I had a chair waiting for me by a well-known barbers but unfortunately that fell through. Fortunately through close friends I was put in contact with, and who probably ended up being one of the most influential people in my Barber career and a close friend, Noel Caruana, a barber took me on in his shop called Barber King in the capital city Valletta. Getting this job really helped me get more of a grasp of a fast paced barbershop dealing with the likes of local MPs and other high flyers as well as locals. From there, I had the opportunity to start up my own thing alongside the Guy Lee Tattoo Studio which is where I am now. We are a close knit bunch of weirdos that call ourselves FamiLee.
LSB: What has been your proudest moment so far as a barber?
JN: I would have to say being asked by a client to give his young son his first ever haircut. Or else it would have to be, being told by the mother of an autistic boy that he had never been so calm in a barber’s chair before.
LSB: If you could have anyone in your barber’s chair, who would it be and why?
JN: I’m going to say it would have to be one of the Gallagher brothers as I am a huge fan of Oasis.
LSB: Have you had anyone in your barber’s chair already that has had an interesting story to tell you?
JN: Due to where the shop is I tend to get a lot of ex British military personnel and I have one regular client that worked on submarines for many years and tells stories of playing poker during down time etc. All whilst 100+m below sea level!
LSB: Do you take inspiration from anything when cutting hair, such as music, fashion, film or art?
JN: Being a big fan of music always influences the way I cut even down to depending on what is playing in the shop whilst I cut. Apart from that, having a tattoo shop within the building as well, we get people that want to show off head tattoos etc. which always pushes you to create something personal and stylish for them.
LSB: What would you say to anyone considering a career in barbering and studying at LSB?
JN: Go for it. Listen, learn but most of all enjoy it!
LSB: Anything further to add?
JN: Anyone in or visiting Malta feel free to look me up on Facebook, Instagram or our website http://www.guyleetattoo.com/8-steps-barber-shop.html and pass by the shop and say hello!